Radio Free Dixie

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Radio Free Dixie was a radio program started by Robert F. Williams when he was forced in exile to Cuba from Monroe, North Carolina during the American Civil Rights Movement. It broadcast from 1961 to 1965. It broadcast soul music, news, and commentary from Havana. The program reached the entire continental United States using 50,000 watts at 690 kHz AM, and ran the hour before midnight Eastern time.[1][2] "Radio Free Dixie is proud to present the seldom-heard songs of brutal oppression and dehumanization that no American radio station dares broadcast," an announcer touted. The station played tunes like Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man" and Nina Simone's "Mississippi Goddam". Amid the climate of the 1965 Watts riots, Williams used the station to call for assertive action: "In the spirit of 76, in the Spirit of Los Angeles, let our people take to the streets in fierce numbers, and in the cause of freedom and justice, let our battle cry be heard around the world. Freedom! Freedom! Freedom now, or death!"

Programming ended in 1965 when Williams moved to China at Mao Zedong's invitation.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Johnson, Hans. "Robert Williams' Odyssey in Cuba". Radio World. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  2. ^ "Negroes with Guns: Rob Williams and Black Power. Radio Free Dixie". www.pbs.org. Retrieved 2018-01-29.

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